One big issue I have with the selling profession is the pervasive view that competition is a zero-sum game where there are only winners and losers. These people believe that for them to succeed, someone else must fail which leads to a fear of being on the losing side. This kind of fear can be detrimental to success. It undercuts confidence and creates unrealistic expectations.
Losing is a losing proposition and viewing your competition as the enemy is a slippery slope towards failure. Today we investigate how your greatest competitor is not your competitor, it’s something else.
For the Master Seller,
Selling is a great adventure
For the novice a
profession of frustration, dread and fear.
There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than making an enemy of your competition.
Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.
Whoever can see the needs of their clients
will grow market share.
On the last day of the trade show Chris called Pat to share an update.
Pat answered, “Hey Chris, how did it go this week, did you learn anything?”
Chris replied “I’m really worried. Yesterday I walked the aisles and saw that our nemesis has a new offering. It’s an interesting new feature and it’s going to steal all our business. We need to start working on this now!”
Pat laughed. “Relax. There is nothing to be overly concerned about. Remember that fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, our clients are happy. What’s more important is what they told us at the tradeshow. Not what the other guy is doing.”
Pat paused. After a while Chris responded.
“I did talk to some of our clients. They’re very happy. Many of them were chatty and volunteered advice on what we should be working on”.
Pat smiled. “Oh that’s good news. This is the list I really want to hear about. It’s good to keep up on the competition but keeping up on the customers, that’s what matters today.’”
Sun Tzu wrote in the “Art of War”,
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Don’t fear competition. Monopolies nurture mediocrity while competition forces us to do our best. In the long run, the race is only with yourself and the only bad race is the one that didn’t happen.
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